Mike Chaez-Dawson (2014)

Mike Chaez-Dawson
Remixing Reflections of Brierfield



A series of performances, video art and installation as an introduction to: A PROPOSED SONGLINE FOR BRIERFIELD…(2014)

For two and a half-months I was artist in residence in Brierfield mainly based at the library, this was made possible courtesy of In-Situ. I visited and devised various incidental performance artworks as a method to propose a Songline for Brierfield. These performances were subtle and immersive though you may have noticed a person carrying a large cumbersome chair up and down Colne Road, taking photographs of the road & street signs, you may have received a Q&A about your thoughts of Brierfield or even heard about someone carrying a chalk board rucksack through Brierfield and up Pendle Hill then writing concrete poems in chalk (or tapping away on my laptop on the direct train to Blackpool), or you may have seen me on the train platform and opposite the signal box on the other side of the road meditating in the Brierfield chair.


These slightly surreal and humorous activities were the start of me paving a way for A Songline For Brierfield; there’s certainly a little terminology here that requires a little explanation, such as Songline, incidental performance, and concrete poetry.

A Songline isn’t exactly what it sounds like, as it is an alternative method of making an experiential map of a place, through art, movement (dance, meditation, labours) and sometimes singing – this originated with the Aborigines who would also refer to them as ‘dream lines’, they felt it was a positive way to celebrate and enliven their surroundings, it was also a functional and sacred way for them to navigate the outback (the arduous terrain of Australia).


Incidental Performance is pretty much what it sounds like. Artists have been embracing and using performance or live art as a way to present ideas or express concepts since the Dadaists who started this back in the 1920’s. Whilst more traditional performance or live art occurs mainly in art spaces or specific locations with an invited audience, an incidental performance doesn’t necessarily conform to this as it is usually an artist carrying out an activity in a public space for their own research or experience. Sometimes they have also been called ‘happenings’ – which means that a viewer or audience member may happen to notice or come across an artist carrying out an activity in a public space – more often than not at first it may seem surreal, strange or even funny.

Concrete Poetry is a poem or lyrical piece of prose where its visual layout, design or method of presentation is as important or sometimes more important than its written or spoken content, they can be puzzling and more often can be read several ways, and they are designed for a variety of interpretations.

‘Remixing Reflections of Brierfield, v2, 2014’ sees a presentation of the variety of material gathered from my In-Situ residency, a series of interlinked performances that occurred over the duration of the residency, a series of ‘Concrete Poems’ & a ‘Ready Made Poem’ made up from the Q&A Survey that was sent out to people who have a direct connection to Brierfield.

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